Guitar Gear Gone Wild! A Guide to All the Stuff You Want in 2012

April 19, 2012

Those in the know are aware that , every January , the Winter NAMM show brings together hundreds of music-equipment manufacturers hawking their latest products. It’s madness. The never-ending cacophony of guitars, basses, amps, drums, keyboards, orchestra instruments, sound systems, and recording devices is powerful enough to beat the most vicious UFC champ into a tiny blob of whimpering defeat. And every year, the GP staff puts itself in harm’s way to deliver our dear readers the scoop on all the fresh, new goodies available to make their musical dreams come true.

For our 2012 report, you can peruse new-product offerings for electric gear, acoustic gear, performance gear, recording gear, and accessories, as well as cruise through some new categories:
• Oddities showcases some weird, but usable products.
• Cutting-Edge Tools details the year’s hippest tech toys.
• Hot Bargains is where to peek for amazing values.
• Dream Machines assembles notable boutique and expensive products.
• Editors’ Showstoppers collects the gear that really caught the staff’s attention.

We’ve also initiated a way to let readers know if and when the products in this report will be reviewed in print or online. Simply click to guitarplayer.com/namm2012, and a “NAMM Products Review Schedule” blog will keep you in-the-know.

ACCESSORIES

Boss TU-10 Clip-On Tuner
 
Boss TU-10 Clip-On Tuner
Price: $29 street
Why You Want It: Clip-ons are all the rage, and this one has a color LCD. Sweet!
Web: bossus.com

Graph Tech Tusq Harmonically Rich Picks
 
Seymour Duncan Joe Bonamassa Signature Pickups
Price:
$N/A
Why You Want It: All the tone, resonance, detail, and harmonics of TUSQ nuts, saddles, and bridge pins in a pick.
Web: graphtech.com

Levy’s Leathers Chopper Design Straps
Price: $83 retail
Why You Want It: Strut your rev’d-up badassness with skulls on denim with leather ends.
Web: levysleathers.com

LR Baggs M80 acoustic pickup
Price: $249 pre-order
Why You Want It: Senses all frequency ranges and resonances from the top, back, sides, and neck.
Web: lrbags.com

Planet Waves American Stage Cable
Price: $39-$69 retail
Why You Want It: Noise free and clear tonal reproduction with a Geo-Tip design that ensures a secure, tight fit in guitar jack.
Web: planetwaves.com

Rocktron VersaTune Rack-Mounted Tuner
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Lots of presets for altered, dropped, and open tunings—as well as for nonguitar instruments such as mandolin, ukulele, and pedal-steel—plus a large note indicator you can see from anywhere on stage.
Web: rocktron.com

SBK 3I-4217-18 Acoustic Dreadnought Case
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: It’s an injection-molded, waterproof case. Perfect for Navy Seals and hardy musicians who perform in high-humidity climates.
Web: skbcases.com

 
Schaller Da Vinci Tuners
Schaller Da Vinci tuners
Price: $115 chrome/$118 black/$195 gold retail
Why You Want It: Unique round design and newly designed worm gear for precise tuning. Scratchproof polycarbonate window lets you see the innards.
Web: schaller-electronic.com

Seymour Duncan Joe Bonamassa Signature Pickups
Price: $375/set street
Why You Want It: Based on the P.A.F.s in Bonamassa’s badass ’59 Les Paul, they’re wound on the same machine that created humbuckers for Gibson in the ’50s. Only 1,959 sets will be made, and they sound like god.
Web: seymourduncan.com

Seymour Duncan Gus G. Fire Blackouts System
Price: $199/set street
Why You Want It: Combines the punch and sustain of active pickups with the clarity and harmonic richness of passive pickups.
Web: seymourduncan.com

 
TC Electronic TonePrint
App for Android
TC Electronic Tone- Print App for Android
Price: Free
Why You Want It: Join the iPhone crew in beaming sonic updates to your TonePrint pedals.
Web: tcelectronic.com

ACOUSTIC GEAR

Composite Acoustics O X Series
Price: From $1,799-$1,999 retail
Why You Want It: Virtually indestructible carbon- fiber construction—we’ve dropped these puppies right on their necks with zero damage noted—and shimmer-y good sound.
Web: peavey.com

Dean Exhibition Thin- Body Quilt Ash Acoustic
Price: $399 street
Why You Want It: Looks stunning and includes onboard Aphex Big Bottom and Aural Exciter circuits. Rock on!
Web: deanguitars.com

 
Epiphone Dave Navarro “Jane” Signature
Epiphone Dave Navarro “Jane” Signature
Price: $599 street
Why You Want It: A bitchin’ black beauty from the tattooed rock god. Includes solid sitka spruce and mahogany woods and Epi’s eSonic preamp.
Web: epiphone.com

 
Fender USA Select
Kingman
Fender USA Select Kingman

Price: $1,799
Why You Want It: One of the first U.S.-made Fender acoustics in 20 years! Features solidwood construction, bone nut and bridge pins, tri-color sunburst, and Fishman Sonitone electronics.
Web: fender.com

 
Lag U44C
Ukulele
Lag U44C UKULELE

Price: $140 street
Why You Want It: All-mahogany construction, a groovy tribal rosette around the soundhole, and it comes with a padded gig bag.
Web: usa.lagguitars.com

Martin DRS2
Price: $1,099
Why You Want It: New to Martin’s solid-wood Road Series line, the DRS2 features a Stratabond neck and Fishman Sonitone electronics.
Web: martinguitar.com

 
Ovation  1627VL-4 Artist
Ovation 1627VL-4 Artist
Price: $1,199 retail
Why You Want It: If you can’t pop the big bucks for the Glen Campbell Limited Edition, the super-retro-cool VL captures plenty of Glen vibe.
Web: ovationguitars.com

 
PRS SE Angelus
Custom
PRSSE Angelus Custom
Price: $749 street
Why You Want It: PRS quality at a more affordable price. Solid rosewood back, rosewood sides, a solid Sitka spruce top, and a mahogany neck.
Web: prsguitars.com

 
Recording King
Greenwich Village
RNJ-26
Recording King Greenwich Village RNJ-26

Price: $933 retail/$699 street
Why You Want It: Excellent sounding—thanks to a deep body, solid mahogany back and sides, Sitka spruce top, and a 13-fret neck.
Web: recordingking.com

 
Vox AGA30 Acoustic Guitar Amp
Vox AGA30 Acoustic Guitar Amp

Price: $400 retail
Why You Want It: A hip and versatile 30-watt combo that gives you both solid-state Normal and Tube Pre-amp channels.
Web: korgusa.com

CUTTING-EDGE TOOLS

 
Badcat Bob Cat 100
Badcat Bob Cat 100

Price: $1,449 retail
Why You Want It: There’s nothing like it. A handwired 5-watt tube amp with built-in Unleash technology that allows you to attenuate the power, or increase it up to 100 watts via a class D power section.
Web: badcatamps.com

 
DigiTech iStomp
DigiTech ISTOMP

Price: $149 street (includes delay and overdrive effects). Stomp Shop App is free. Effects from $4.99.
Why You Want It: App-driven hardware pedal that can morph into almost any stompbox you desire using your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Take that, planned obsolescence!
Web: digitech.com

Fender Powered By Roland VG Stratocaster G-5
Price: $1,299 street
Why You Want It: A Strat with COSM modeling, the G5 delivers instant alternate tunings, and 20 instrument and pickups tones.
Web: rolandus.com

 
Fishman Triple Play Wireless Guitar Controller
Fishman Triple Play Wireless Guitar Controller

Price: Approx. $299 street
Why You Want It: Control any virtual instrument or MIDI device from up to 100 feet away without a cable! A hexaphonic pickup and wireless transmitter send MIDI information to a thumb drive-sized USB receiver that plugs into your computer or iOS device.
Web: fishman.com

 
Line 6 StageScape M20d
Line 6 StageScape M20D

Price: $2,499 street
Why You Want It: Massively cool touch screen and icon-driven mixer with remote iPad control that lets a band mix itself like superheroes. Mates blissfully with StageSource speakers.
Web: line6.com

Line 6 StageSource L3T Speakers
Price: $1,199 street
Why You Want It: The way-too-intelligent L3t includes onboard DSP, a mixer, and smart speaker modes that change response to match the application (main, monitor, keyboard, etc.).
Web: line6.com

Mackie DL1608
Price: $999 street
Why You Want It: A groovy digital mixer/iPad marriage that lets you control all aspects of your mix—even wirelessly. You can even snap pix of band mates to ID channel faders. Yum!
Web: mackie.com

 
Peavey AT-200
Peavey AT-200

Price: $500 street
Why You Want It: A guitar with onboard Antares Solid-Tune pitch correction that instantly gets the guitar in tune and constantly monitors intonation to keep you in tune all over the neck, regardless of finger pressure, string stretching, etc.
Web: peavey.com

DREAM MACHINES

 
Ampeg Heritage R-
12R Reverberocket
Ampeg Heritage R-12R Reverberocket
Price: $4,999 street
Why You Want It: Based on an early ’60s model, this beautiful-sounding combo has stellar reverb and features museum-grade hand wiring. Production limited to 100 pieces.
Web: ampeg.com

Bedell LE LEOH-54-2
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: A great-sounding, world-class acoustic featuring awesome woods and exemplary workmanship.
Web: bedellguitars.com

Fano PX6
Price: $2,680 street
Why You Want It: Dennis Fano’s unique take on a non-reverse Firebird offers superb playability and soulful tone.
Web: fanoguitars.com

 
Fender Machete
Fender Machete

Price: $1,899 street
Why You Want It: Wielding Clean and High-Gain channels, dual 6L6GC power tubes, and digital reverb, this 1x12 ripper goes where no Fender combo has gone before.
Web: fender.com

 
Fibenare Roadmaster
’56
Fibenare Roadmaster ’56

Price: $4,160 retail/$3,328 street
Why You Want It: This gorgeous Hungarian-made guitar was inspired by classic ’50s instruments, and is handcrafted down to hand-winding the pickups and constructing the bridge and the nut.
Web: fibenare-guitars.com

 
Framus AZ10 Archtop
Framus AZ10 Archtop

Price: $9,369 retail
Why You Want It: This spectacular guitar, inspired by the Homonymous Instrument Series built for Attila Zoller in the ’60s, is constructed of solid AAAA flamed-maple and has a solid spruce top, a AAA flamed-maple neck with a tiger-stripe ebony fretboard, mother-ofpearl inlays, and two MEC floating humbuckers. Breathtaking!
Web: framus.de

 
Koll Guitars The Troubadour
Koll Guitars The Troubadour

Price: $1,995 street
Why You Want It: Named after the legendary West Los Angeles nightclub, The Troubadour is made of solid alder and sports a two-point Stratstyle vibrato and a TV Jones Powertron pickup.
Web: kollguitars.com

Marshall Micro Series
Price: $1,060 retail (combo), $1,000 head
Why You Want It: English-made, one-watt “replicas” of Marshall’s famed JTM-, JMP-, JCM-, DSL-, and JVM-series amps. Launching throughout 2012 in celebration of Marshall’s 50th Anniversary.
Web: marshallamps.com

 
Matchless Clubman Reverb
Matchless Clubman Reverb

Price: $5,600
Why You Want It: First time the Clubman Reverb has been offered in a combo, and it’s one of the coolest looking amps ever.
Web: matchlessamplifiers.com

Ovation 1627 LTD -4 Glen Campbell Limited Edition
Price: $3,199 retail
Why You Want It: Tip your hat to the Rhinestone Cowboy with this extremely rare (only 50 numbered models will be made) tribute to Campbell’s 50th year in show business.
Web: ovationguitars.com

Santa Cruz Bob Brozman Baritone Pro
Price: $7,250 retail
Why You Want It: This gorgeous instrument features reclaimed koa on the back, sides, and peghead, and in the words of the illustrious Mr. Brozman, “The tone of this guitar can make a grown man cry.”
Web: santacruzguitar.com

 
Takamine Commemorative
T50
Takamine Commemorative T50

Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: The fretboard’s growing vine celebrates Takamine’s 50th anniversary and its future, and only 50 of these marvels will be produced.
Web: takamine.com

EDITORS’ SHOWSTOPPERS

 
Boss GT-100
Boss GT-100

Price: $769 retail/$549 street
Why You Want It: Features vintage amp models and advanced COSM tones. Dual-LCD screen offers direct access to every parameter (no menus to navigate), and the new Accel pedal allows simultaneous control of multiple parameters.
Web: rolandconnect.com

 
EarthQuaker Devices Organizer
Earth Quaker Devices Organizer

Price: $185 direct
Why You Want It: Want to turn your guitar into a ’60s Farfisa or Vox organ? This polyphonic organ emulator is your ticket to Cheesy Keys Heaven.
Web: earthquakerdevices.com

   
Fender Pawnshop Series Excelsior and Greta
Fender Pawnshop Series Excelsior and Greta

Price: $299 street (Excelsior), $200 street (Greta)
Why You Want It: The 13-watt 1x15 Excelsior combo looks and sounds like something made by a TV repairman in the 1950s, while the 12AT7-powered Greta is a micro amp with vintage-radio styling.
Web: fender.com

   
G-Lab SD-1 Smooth Delay and DR-3 Dual Reverb
G-Lab SD-1 Smooth Delay and DR-3 Dual Reverb

Price: SD-1 $289 street/DR-3 $249 street
Why You Want It: The SD-1 is a great-sounding tape/analog delay simulator that’s loaded with features. It also has a Control output for linking it to the DR-3—a versatile dual reverb unit.
Web: glab.com.pl

Hayden Bespoke Program
Price: Varies with model and options.
Why You Want It: Create your own customized head or combo. Choose from a wide variety of options, including tubes, speakers, gain structure, EQ, reverb, Tolex color, grille-cloth type, and lots more.
Web: haydenamps.com

 
Jam Pedals Delay Llama+
Jam Pedals Delay Llama+

Price: $350 street
Why You Want It: If you dig vintage analog delay sounds from classic Panasonic MN3205- style BBD analog chips, but also desire modern touches such as jacks for a Hold (looping) footswitch and expression pedal (delay time) control, this bold-sounding beast will meet your needs.
Web: jampedals.com

Pigtronix Infinity Looper
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Dual-stereo looper pedal with comprehensive control options, such as analog limiting and sample-accurate MIDI sync.
Web: pigtronix.com

Rivera 3D-Shaman Chorus
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Three outputs (wet left, wet right, dry center) for creating super-huge chorusing with multi-amp rigs.
Web: rivera.com

 
Spaceman Gemini III Dual Fuzz Generator
Spaceman Gemini III Dual Fuzz Generator

Price: $309 direct
Why You Want It: This handwired, all-discrete transistor fuzz combines modern silicon and vintage germanium fuzz circuits in parallel—each with three selectable gain settings—and lets you combine and filter them in numerous ways to produce a plethora of fuzz tones.
Web: spacemaneffects.com

Vox Delay Lab
Price: $229 street
Why You Want It: Thirty delay types, a 28-second looper, 30 presets, and expression pedal control over all parameters.
Web: voxamps.com

ELECTRIC GEAR

Albion Gulfstream 30C
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: 6V6-powered twochannel, 30-watt combo with digital reverb and bias-modulating tremolo.
Web: albionamps.com

Budda Amp Baby Budda
Price: $1,499 retail
Why You Want It: A compact, hand-wired package that delivers 18 watts from two EL84 power tubes and a 5U4 rectifier.
Web: budda.com

 
Carvin Allan Holdsworth
Signature HH2 BC
Carvin Allan Holdsworth Signature HH2

Price: $1,199 direct
Why You Want It: The latest version of Allan Holdsworth’s Signature guitar features a chambered alder body with a white birch top and a set Eastern hardrock maple neck topped with an ebony fretboard. Custom options are available.
Web: carvinguitars.com

Charvel DX-1 ST Soloist
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Smooth player with a flame maple top on a neck-through body. EMG 85 and 81 humbuckers.
Web: charvel.com

Dean Dime Concrete Sledge ML
Price: $1,299 street
Why You Want It: Dimebag reportedly used the original as his dropped-D machine, but this limited edition will rock viciously in any key. Only 333 will be made worldwide.
Web: deanguitars.com

DV Mark Triple 6
Price: $1,499 street
Why You Want It: This updated, 120-watt, threechannel devil now has two gain stages for the second and third channels for added flexibility, plus MIDI switching, and automatic biasing for power tubes.
Web: dvmark.it

 
ESP RZK-II
Burnt
ESP RZK-II Burnt

Price: $2,499 street
Why You Want It: Rammstein’s Richard Z. Kruspe gets a fierce signature model with an appropriately industrial distressed/burnt finish. Ja!
Web: espguitars.com

 
Epiphone Ace Frehley
“Budokan” Les Paul
Custom Outfit
Epiphone Ace Frehley “ Budokan” Les Paul Custom Outfit

Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Duh. Ace! Budokan! Limited edition of 1,000! Three DiMarzio humbuckers! Are you nuts???
Web: epiphone.com

 
Fender Select
Series
Fender Select Series
Price: $2,049 and up street
Why You Want It: Your fave classic Fenders all dressed up in magnificent woods and other topdrawer features. Drool.
Web: fender.com

Hagstrom Viking DLX 12
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Great-playing electric 12-string with a maple set neck, a contoured semi-hollow body, and two Hagstrom HJ-50 humbuckers.
Web: hagstromguitars.com

Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 5 amp
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Aggressive H&K tube tone in 5-watt package. Built-in Red Box and power soak.
Web: hughes-and-kettner.com

Ibanez LGB300
Price: $5,575 retail
Why You Want It: George Benson’s latest signature model features a larger body, wider neck, and ebony bridge.
Web: ibanez.com

 
Orange Signature #4 Jim Root Head
Orange Signature #4 Jim Root Head

Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Love the Tiny Terror series— small, light, ballsy. The Signature #4 delivers the fire-breathing tone from the Dirty channel on the Slipknot and Stone Sour guitarist’s Rockerverb 100.
Web: orangeamps.com

 
Palmer DREI Triple Single Ended Amplifier
Palmer DREI Triple Single Ended Amplifier

Price: $1,499 retail
Why You Want It: Have it three ways with the DREI’s unique single-ended amp design, which allows you to mix and match three different output tube sections with individual volume controls for myriad tonal combinations. The DREI works optimally with EL84, 6L6, 6V6, KT90, and KT77 tubes.
Web: palmer-proaudio.com

PRS P22
Price: $3,116 street
Why You Want It: The first piezo-equipped solidbody from PRS, this flawless machine comes with uncovered 53/10 pickups, a new PRS/LR Baggs piezo system, and a 5-way blade selector.
Web: prsguitars.com

Quilter MicroPro 200
Price: $899 direct
Why You Want It: A full-featured, 200-watt amp with four voicing modes, four boosts, a mic/line input, and reverb, tremolo, and overdrive limiting that weighs just 19 lbs and is compact enough to drop into a large gym bag.
Web: quilterlabs.com

 
Reverend Sensei RA
Reverend Sensei RA

Price: $1,079 retail
Why You Want It: A lean, mean 6-string with the new, Joe Naylor-designed Railhammer Chisel pickups, which feature blades under the wound strings (for tight lows) and polepieces under the plain strings (for fat highs).
Web: reverendguitars.com

Schecter Blackjack Slim Line Series
Price: From $799 street
Why You Want It: Supermodel slim and light, with a choice of active or passive pickups, as well as 6-, 7-, and 8-string models. Offered in satin black and a beautiful see-thru blue burst.
Web: schecterguitars.com

Sterling by Music Man JP100 John Petrucci Signature
Price: $629 street
Why You Want It: It practically has John Petrucci’s fingerprints all over it—his signature, his shield inlays, his dome knobs, and more—and it’s under $630. Need we say more?
Web: sterlingbymusicman.com

 
Traynor YGL1 1x12
Traynor YGL1 1x12 combo

Price: $849 retail/$679 street
Why You Want It: 15-watt all-tube amp with a 3-way mode switch that provides a crisp “American”-style tone (USA), a grittier, “British amp” flavor (Brit mode), or a Pure mode that bypasses the tone controls entirely.
Web: traynoramps.com

Traveler Speedster Hot Rod
Price: $449 street
Why You Want It: Super-portable in racing red with a built-in headphone amp, onboard distortion, and a 1/8" aux in jack for rockin’ with your iPod.
Web: travelerguitar.com

Two-Rock EXO 15
Price: $1,295 street
Why You Want It: 15-watt amp with a futuristic, all-metal “Exoskeleton” chassis with lighted front-panel controls. Delivers superb clean and overdriven tones.
Web: two-rock.com

 
Vox AC4C1-BL
Vox AC4C1-BL

Price: $425 retail
Why You Want It: This cute combo delivers four watts of Top Boost tube tone and features 1963-style blue vinyl covering, Tygon “fret” cloth, and Bakelite handle.
Web: voxamps.com

Zoom G5
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Tons of firepower with large LCDs and butt-simple, intuitive controls. You get 20 amp models, 100 stompbox effects, 40 rhythm patterns, a tube boost, and more.
Web: zoom.co.jp

HOT BARGAINS

 
AXL USA Bulldog
AXL USA Bulldog

Price: $733 retail/$549 street
Why You Want It: What’s not to dig about a sweet playing LP Junior-style guitar with a Lindy Fralin P-90 pickup and TonePros hardware that’s assembled and setup in California?
Web: axlguitars.com

 
Electro-Harmonix Switchblade+
Electro-Harmonix Switchblade+

Price: $47
Why You Want It: It’s a super-cool, compact signal router that takes your input and sends it to channel A, B, or both, plus a tuner output.
Web: ehx.com

 
Ibanez Sage SGT230EVS
Acoustic
Ibanez Sage SGT230EVS Acoustic

Price: $249 street
Why You Want It: A beautiful sunburst jumbo at a great price with a mahogany neck, back, and sides; a spruce top; and onboard tuner.
Web: Ibanez.com

Line 6 Mobile In
 
Line 6 Mobile In
Price:
$79
Why You Want It: Get righteous quality when you track guitar tones into your iPhone or iPad. You also get the Mobile POD app for free, with 10,000 freaking presets.
Web: line6.com

Maple Lake by Wechter DN-2411CE
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Who wouldn’t want an Abe Wechter-designed cutaway acoustic with a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, an abalone rosette, and an AW-1 Preamp—all for three bills?
Web: wechterguitars.com

ODDITIES

 
Chord Dice
Chord Dice

Price: $12 direct (5 dice in key of G)
Why You Want It: Are you a fan of “automatic writing?” Well, toss the Chord Dice, and let fate write the harmony for your next song. A nice remedy for writer’s block.
Web: chorddice.com

gPad Music gPad/Mini g
Price: $239 direct
Why You Want It: Playing riffs holding an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch loaded with a guitar app is dorky. Really. But pop your fave i-device into these guitar and ukulele bodies, and you’ll look rad while exploiting high technology.
Web: gpadmusic.com

Guitdoorbell
Price: $129 retail
Why You Want It: Mount this mini acoustic above any door, and you’ll be greeted by the sound of strummed strings whenever someone pops into the room. Quite a conversation piece.
Web: guitdoorbell.com

Revamped Glass Design Speaker Cab Kit
Price: From $399 retail
Why You Want It: Replace the wood back of your speaker cabinet with these illuminated stainedglass windows, and transform a “retired” cab into a very cool coffee table. You can even take the glowing box of glass art onstage (though the sound will obviously be blowing towards the rear of the venue).
Web: revampedglassdesign.com

 
Shredneck Mike
Orlando Signature
Shredneck Mike Orlando Signature

Price: $99 retail (includes gig bag)
Why You Want It: When you can’t cart your guitar along, the super-portable Shredneck lets you practice scales and runs anytime and anywhere. Former Guitar Player’s Guitar Superstar finalist Orlando (Adrenaline Mob) swears by it, and he’s one incredibly speedy shredder.
Web: shredneck.com

 
Strumbuddy Troubadour Smartphone Holder
Strumbuddy Troubadour Smartphone Holder

Price: $49 direct
Why You Want It: Running amp, effects, tuner, or even recording apps on your smartphone? The fully adjustable Troubadour lets you keep an eye on them, and easily adjust their controls, while playing your guitar. And, according to Strumbuddy, the “added mass improves guitar resonance.” Whoa!
Web: mystrumbuddy.com

Visionary Instruments Video Guitar
Price: $TBD
Why You Want It: What’s more eye-catching than TV inside your guitar?
Web: visionaryinstruments.com

PEDALS

 
Amptweaker SwirlPool
Amptweaker SwirlPool

Price: $300 direct
Why You Want It: This super versatile, handbuilt tremolo/vibrato/rotary speaker pedal packs multiple modulation circuits (that can be synchronized or not), dual Speed and Vibe controls, a rotary speed ramp switch, and Jerky Tremolo and Surf Tone switches.
Web: amptweaker.com

 
Blackstar HT Metal/ Pure Valve Filth
Blackstar HT Metal/ Pure Valve Filth

Price: $319 retail
Why You Want It: Doesn’t the model name say it all? Screw the specs, just get one and rage like a tortured, angry demon!
Web: blackstaramps.com

 
Boss RC -300 Loop Station
Boss RC -300 Loop Station

Price: $768 retail/$549 street
Why You Want It: Boss’ new flagship looper boasts three stereo tracks with individual controls including dedicated faders, up to three hours of internal recording, 99 memory slots, 16 effects, and lots more.
Web: bossus.com

Chandler Limited Germanium Drive
Price: $335 street
Why You Want It: Gasp! This pedal sounds awesome. Creamy, articulate, ballsy, and sexy overdrive that triggers blissed-out ear-gasms. Sigh.
Web: chandlerlimited.com

 
Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Signature
Crybaby
Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Signature Crybaby

Price: $169 street
Why You Want It: Gutsy sounding wah with a Halo inductor and a selector for true or non-true bypass switching.
Web: jimdunlop.com

 
Fender Mustang Floor Multi-Effects
Fender Mustang Floor Multi-Effects

Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Twelve amp models, 37 effects, lots of ins and outs, and tank-esque construction.
Web: fender.com

 
MXR M77 Custom Badass
Modified O.D.
MXR M77 Custom Badass Modified O.D.

Price: $99 street
Why You Want It: All the greatness of a classic overdrive with modern features, like a 100Hz Cut/Boost and a Bump switch that pumps up lows and mids.
Web: jimdunlop.com

Pigtronix Fat Drive
Price: $139 street
Why You Want It: Multiple, cascaded gain stages deliver meaty tones ranging from slightly overdriven to richly saturated.
Web: pigtronix.com

 
Red Witch Synthotron
Red Witch Synthotron

Price: $399 street
Why You Want It: Bring the psychedelic fire of analog synth sounds to your guitar. A psychotropic love-in for your ax.
Web: redwitchpedals.com

 
Retro Channel Preamp and Power Amp
Retro Channel Preamp and Power Amp

Price: $TBA
Why You Want It: Preamp delivers kickass tone using two 12AX7s and one EL84 driving a small internal speaker as an active load. Stereo power amp (2x150 watts) uses proprietary solid-state technology for warm, tube-like response.
Web: retro-channel.com

 
Source Audio Dimension Reverb
Source Audio Dimen - sion Reverb

Price: $239 street
Why You Want It: Twelve reverbs, two user presets, Hot Hand control, and a totally new reverb algorithm called Mod-Verb.
Web: sourceaudio.net

Tech 21 B oost Series
Price: $195 retail each
Why You Want It: Slam your amp’s front end with 21dB of clean boost for organic kerrang, or get super-aggro funky with the thrilling colors of the Boost Distortion, Boost Fuzz, or Boost Overdrive.
Web: tech21nyc.com

Vox Hand-Wired V846-HW Wah
Price: $199 street
Why You Want It: True-bypass pedal features hand-wired circuitry on a turret board, along with high-grade carbon-comp resistors, Carling footswitch, and Switchcraft jacks.
Web: voxamps.com

PERFORMANCE GEAR

Alto i PA powered speaker for i Pad
Price: $N/A
Why You Want It: Great system for anyone who performs with pre-recorded tracks—just plug in your iPad, your instrument, your mic, and rock. Alto ADM10 mic included.
Web: altoproaudio.com

Electro-Voice Live X ELX112P
Price: $599 street
Why You Want It: This is one of a full series of professional powered speakers that can be used as mains or monitors.
Web: electrovoice.com

 
Peavey MuseBox
Peavey MuseBox

Price: $1,399 retail/$999 street
Why You Want It: Developed in partnership with Muse Research, this little powerhouse enables you to run two virtual instrument and two effects plug-ins simultaneously. Guitarists can plug into a 1/4" input and access an updatable library of amp and effects plugs—including Peavey’s ReValver HP—as well as synths and other virtual instruments via a MIDI-equipped guitar.
Web: peavey.com

 
Radial Firefly Tube DI
Radial Firefly Tube DI

Price: $700 retail/$599 street
Why You Want It: This stylish, ultra-versatile, and beautiful-sounding class A tube DI box features two channels and an ingenious Drag control that allows you to optimize the input load for various pickups. It comes with two 12AX7 tubes—a premium tube for audiophiles and a lo-fi tube “for added growl.”
Web: radialeng.com

 
Samson Expedition XP150
Samson Exp edition XP150

Price: $299
Why You Want It: A modular, 150-watt, 24 lb, two-speaker-and-mixer PA system for under three bills? This is huge!
Web: samsontech.com

 
TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX
TC-Helicon Voice- Live Play GTX

Price: $485 retail/$349 street
Why You Want It: This little box combines the VoiceLive Play’s vocal processing, accompaniment, and other tools with TC Electronic’s extensive guitar effects and AmpTones presets, to create a super-powerful live-performance and practice machine for singing guitarists.
Web: tc-helicon.com

RECORDING GEAR

Apogee M iC and JAM
Price: $199 retail (MiC); $99 retail (JAM)
Why You Want It: MiC is a direct-input, mediumdiaphragm condenser for iOS devices, and JAM is a digital iOS preamp for guitar and bass
Web: apogeedigital.com

 
ART USB Dual Tube Pre
ART USB Dual Tube Pre

Price: $189 retail/$149 street
Why You Want It: Operating as a standalone USB audio interface or as an expander for any system with a S/PDF digital input, this compact unit supplies dual tube-driven mic/instrument preamps with 48-volt phantom power, optical compression, a switchable insert, a headphone jack, and much more.
Web: artproaudio.com

 
Audio-Technica AT2005USB
Audio-Technica AT2005USB

Price: $99 street
Why You Want It: A cool dynamic cardioid mic that you can plug directly into your DAW via USB.
Web: audio-technica.com

 
Auralex MAX 1141VB Portable Vocal Booth
Auralex MAX 1141VB Portable Voca l Booth

Price: $999
Why You Want It: No more worries about your home studio being too sonically reflective to record pristine vocal tracks.
Web: auralex.com

 
Blue Microphones Mikey Digital
Blue Microphones Mikey Digital

Price: $99 street
Why You Want It: Designed for iPod Touch, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPad 2 and iPad, this diminutive stereo cardioid condenser boasts a 35Hz- 20kHz frequency response, three gain settings and automatic or manual gain control, a line input, a USB pass through, and more—and it’s compatible with most recording apps.
Web: bluemic.com

Event 20/20 BA S monitors
Price: $449 each
Why You Want It: Big clear sound thanks to dual discrete Class AB amplifiers that provide up to 250 watts of burst power for the Opal technology 1" silk dome tweeter and 8" mineral-impregnated woofer.
Web: eventelectronics.com

Gemini SR Series studio monitors
Price: $129 to $249 each
Why You Want It: Excellent price/performance ratio. Bi-amplified studio reference monitors available in 5" (SR-5), 6.5" (SR-6), 8" (SR-8), along with a 10" subwoofer (SR10-SUB).
Web: geminiproaudio.com

 
MOTU Digital Performer 8 for Windows
MOTU Digital Performer 8 f or Windows

Price: $795 retail/$499 street
Why You Want It: The popular Mac-based DAW is now available for Windows 7 users. Significant new features include an expanded video playback engine, “Punch Guard” confidence recording, 14 new user interface themes, and 15 new effects plug-ins.
Web: motu.com

Olympus LS-100
Price: $399 street
Why You Want It: A super-stereo-digital-recording machine for musicians. Includes an onboard tuner and metronome.
Web: olympusamerica.com

 
Presonus BlueTube DP V2 Mic/Instrument Preamplifier
Presonus BlueTube DP V2 Mic/Instrument Preamplifier

Price: $229 street
Why You Want It: Can’t decide between a superclean solid-state mic/instrument preamp and a preamp that adds tube warmth and even overdrive? This handy device gives you two channels of both in one box.
Web: presonus.com

Sennheiser X SW 72 Instrument Wireless System
Price: $399 retail
Why You Want It: Perfect for small venues. True diversity reception. Ten hours of operation. Audio mute button on transmitter.
Web: sennheiserusa.com

 
Sony PCM M10
Sony PCM M10

Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Records 24-bit/96kHz WAV or straight to mp3. 4GB flash memory and also takes optional SD card. Electret condenser mics, digital pitch-control. Built-in speaker.
Web: sony.com

 
Tascam DR-100mkII
Tascam DR-100mkII

Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Four built-in mics (two cardioid, two omni). Records 24-bit/96kHz WAV or mp3. XLR and digital input jacks. Built-in speaker. Wired/wireless remote.
Web: tascam.com

 
Waves Non-Linear Summing Plug-In
Waves Non-Linear Summing Plug-In
Price: $249 native/$349 TDM retail
Why You Want It: Waves’ solution to the homogeneity of “mixing in the box” is the NLS plug-in, which emulates the characteristics of 32 inputs each on Mark “Spike” Stent’s SSL 4000G, Mike Hedges’ EMI TG12345 Mk 4, and Yoad Nevo’s Neve 5116 mixing consoles.
Web: waves.com

Universal Audio Apollo Audio Interface
Price: $1,999 street (Duo Core)/$2,499 street (Quad Core)
Why You Want It: Besides being a super-robust, high-resolution, 18x24-channel FireWire and Thunderbolt-ready audio interface, the Apollo houses either two (Duo Core) or four (Quad Core) SHARC processors for real time UAD processing via UA’s myriad software plug-ins. A perfect marriage of analog and digital.
Web: uaudio.com

 
Yamaha THR5
Yamaha THR5

Price: $199 street
Why You Want It: It looks retro slick, it’s perfect for home recording and bedroom practice sessions, it has five amp models and eight onboard effects, and it sounds delicious.
Web: yamaha.com

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